T Lo’s Weekend Pop Culture Reading List

Posted on November 02, 2018

Darlings, as we dash out the door to a weekend filled with glamour (not really), we’re leaving behind a sprinkling of links – a linkling, if you will – featuring all the articles, posts and essays that tickled our fancy this week.  Have some zeitgeist. And a great weekend!


“I was raised in a family of voracious readers,” she says of her upbringing in Mississippi, as one of six children in a household that cherished books and didn’t have much else. She and her siblings, who include an anthropologist, a judge, a social worker, a microbiologist, and an ex-convict who struggles with drug addiction, hold a virtual monthly book club.

Stacey Abrams Understands Why Young People Don’t Vote Romy Oltuski at InStyle



“I just wonder what Elsa would say to Ariel and Cinderella, because Elsa has some serious opinions about Anna going off with a guy that she’s only just met and saying she would marry him,” Keira told Press Association. “She’s like ‘absolutely that is not OK’ and in fact everyone in Frozen is not OK with that.”

Keira Knightley Explains Exactly Why She Banned Her Daughter From Watching ‘The Little Mermaid’ Lucy Wood at Marie Claire



According to The Daily Mail, Meghan’s royal tour wardrobe reportedly hit $211,000. We decided to investigate just how much Meghan spent on her travel looks, below, tracking everything from the dresses she wore to her fascinators. To date, she has spent over $68,o00 and that’s not even including custom outfit designs and all the jewelry she has worn on the trip. It seems the Duchess has definitely hit that $200k or more mark of spending. Thankfully, the royal family a.k.a. Prince Charles is footing the bill.

Meghan Markle’s First Royal Tour Wardrobe Costs More Than $68,000Marina Liao at Marie Claire



Benioff and Weiss opened the proceedings by asking the cast to refrain from doing anything during filming or afterward that might reveal even the tiniest spoiler (“Don’t even take a photo of your boots on the ground of the set,” one actor recalls being told). And then, seated around a long table scattered with a few prop skulls, the cast read aloud the final season of Game of Thrones.

At one point, Harington wept.

The end of Game of Thrones: An exclusive report on the epic final season James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly



It is no surprise that Plath’s clear account of Hughes’s alleged assault gets caught in the briar thicket of conflicting interests. Here is a letter to a friend who was once her psychiatrist, analyzed by a daughter who hardly remembers her mother, and who seeks to exonerate her father. Given Frieda’s suggestion that violence might be an understandable reaction to the ripping up of her father’s papers, it is ironic that we cannot consult all of Plath’s journals, where she was often extravagantly confiding: Hughes notoriously destroyed one of the volumes—in an effort, he said, to spare his daughter and son the pain of reading it. He claimed that a second notebook had mysteriously vanished.

Sylvia Plath’s Last Letters by Dan Chiasson at The New Yorker



Who were the great loves of Freddie Mercury’s life? Per the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, it comes down to two people: Mary Austin and Jim Hutton. However, the film leaves out many details about both relationships, tweaking and glossing over precious facts. Here are the true stories of Austin and Hutton, who entered Mercury’s life at crucial times and remained close to him until his death in 1991.

Bohemian Rhapsody: The True Story Behind Freddie Mercury’s Relationships by Yohana Desta at Vanity Fair



Now that Michelle Obama is free, I look forward to her going high—and kicking back. I want to know what she thinks about income inequality, sexual violence, white supremacy, and American exceptionalism in the face of an opposition whose appetite for going lower has no bounds. I know we will be there accepting whatever she is offering, because we are hungry. We are disappointed. We are frustrated. We no longer crave hope. We crave power. We do not want to be abused. We do not want to abuse. For all kinds of better and some slices of worse, we believe Michelle Obama will walk with us, honestly describing what she has experienced on her journey. 

Michelle Obama Should Go High—And Kick, Writes Kiese Laymon by Kiese Laymon at Vanity Fair



This season, Underwood will dress mainly in black, olive green, or presidential blue clothes made in collaboration with the Brooklyn tailor LaVonne Richards. “Everything is fit within an inch of its life,” she said. “You can clearly see the female form.” Together, Harris and Richards worked on belted pinstripe pantsuits for Cabinet meetings, midnight blue coat dresses, and an off-duty uniform. The latter was also modeled on historical presidential dress: crisp white button-down shirts with French cuffs, offset with pencil skirts or a few off-the-rack finds. “Balenciaga pants, a black satin trench coat from Phoebe [Philo]’s Céline,” Harris said.

How Claire Underwood Will Dress as House of Cards’s Madam President by Edward Barsamian at Vogue



The film plays fast and loose with facts in a way that suggests the entire project was born out of resentment from the surviving members of Queen that, all these years after Mercury’s death, the band’s legacy is still so married to their late frontman’s outsize voice, personality, and celebrity. Bohemian Rhapsody smells like cinematic retribution, in which Mercury is posthumously punished. That he’s depicted in such broad strokes is even crueler, with his sexuality reduced to a partying vice and the so-called nitty-gritty of his life fully ignored—a creative decision that led originally announced star Sacha Baron Cohen to dramatically drop out of the project.

Bohemian Rhapsody is an Insult to Freddie Mercury by Kevin Fallon at The Daily Beast



Gaston may be toxic masculinity made flesh (or ink, I guess), but his unabashed narcissism and exhibitionism meant that a G-rated animated film could include the line “and every last inch of me is covered with hair” as an image of his burly furry chest took over the entire frame. To this day, that moment astounds me in the way it begs viewers to imagine what else is as hairy as Gaston’s upper body.

How Disney’s Animated Movies Awakened My Queer Imagination by Manuel Betancourt at Catapult



“I didn’t want any natural instinct I might have to be diluted by the brilliance of what [Andrews] did,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to take quite a big swing with the character. No one can out-Julie Andrews Julie Andrews! You’ve got to do something else.”

The Mary Poppins of the books, she found, presented new and different qualities than those seen in the 1964 film. “There’s an eccentricity and a battiness to her. She’s incredibly vain and rude and funny,” grinned Blunt, “and weird, actually. Like this strange, rare bird. You can’t get a read on where she’s going. But I read the books quite fully, and it became clear to me where I wanted to go with her.”

How ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ star Emily Blunt and director Rob Marshall aimed to make a ‘joybomb on the soul’ by Jen Yamoto at the Los Angeles Times



[Photo Credit: The New York Times]

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